Your car is more than just a vehicle that takes you where you need to go. No matter what the make and model is, your car is an investment. While for many it is a necessity, for others it is a highly cherished belonging. Regardless of your approach to your vehicle, it is important to take good care of your vehicle, from keeping the exterior and interior clean to changing oil. You can keep your car safe by, of course, parking it in your own garage. But sometimes the need to park your car elsewhere comes up due to specific or unique circumstances.
One of the most common reasons people store their vehicles is due to lack of space. You might have acquired a new car for your collection and found out that you do not have the room for it. Or perhaps the family decided to move to a high density unit with no parking facility. Another reason is for better protection. You may have the parking space you need but in an open space susceptible to theft or break-ins. Others look for long term auto storage as they will be out on an extended business trip or a long overseas vacation with the whole family. Car storage is a convenient, flexible, and long-term solution. If you are trying out car storage for the first time or want to look for other options, we’re here to provide answers to frequently asked questions about choosing the right car storage for you.
Which parking space do I need?
Parking facilities offer different types of parking spaces, from multi-level parking garages, to outdoor fenced parking, to undercover parking spots. While these will give you a place to keep your car, the best possible option will always depend on your need and preference. If you need a place to park your vehicle but would still be using it on a regular basis, a parking garage with easy and frequent access would do the job. This is for people who don’t have their own parking space at home or those who probably take the train after parking their car. But if you are looking at keeping your vehicle in storage for a longer period of time, you may want to consider indoor storage to add extra protection for your car while you are away.
How much does car storage cost?
The car storage price usually depends on three things; parking space type, duration of rent and the law of supply and demand. As mentioned earlier, the usual types of parking spaces are outdoor, undercover and indoor storage. Outdoor car storage is the most common and affordable form of auto storage. On-street parking, driveways and parking lots with or without a security fence are just some of your options. If you are considering an outdoor car storage, be sure to check for additional security features such as security fences and video surveillance. Undercover parking comes usually comes at a slightly higher cost compared to outdoor parking because your car is parked on roofed spaces or other overhead covers. The roof or the cover provides additional protection from the natural elements such as severe rainstorms and blazing heat. Indoor storage is likely to be the most expensive. It can be a large closed parking area with drive up access or a designated garage. This type of self storage offers additional protection for your vehicle from harsh weather, vandalism, or theft. It is most recommended for storing valuable vintage or sports cars.
Prices also vary depending on the how long you will need the storage for. This is often referred to as parking duration. There are two types of parking duration; short-term and long-term. The short term parking duration charges on a per hour or per day basis. It is usually more expensive, whilst long term parking duration is generally considered much cheaper and cost-effective.
Lastly, the law of supply and demand which basically means if there are less parking facilities available in the area, the higher the demand and the more expensive the cost. This is most common in major cities where parking is difficult and the proximity of parking spaces to schools, offices, shopping centres and public transport terminals is a priority.
Where to find the most suitable car storage?
If you are going out of the country for a month or so, you must have considered making an airport parking reservation. But most airport parking owned by the airport themselves, or even those offering the same services near airports charge a hefty amount. There are alternatives in finding the suitable long-term storage you need for your car. These self-storage companies provide secured long-term parking spaces without breaking the bank.
Some self-storage companies that offer long-term car storage are Metro Storage, Rent A Storage, Parkhound and Spacer. Below are comparison tables between these vehicle storage providers:
Based on their websites, these are the estimate monthly rates for both outdoor and indoor parking:
Some car storages would require a reservation fee ranging from $20-$30 or a $150 deposit for the keys or swipe card that are refundable upon termination of contract. Looking for the most suitable storage for your vehicle is easy. You can visit the Spacer website, search for the storage by location, choose from a list of car storages, choose the duration and reserve the space. You may even ask the host about the place or call customer service for assistance.
Is it bad to leave my car for a long period of time?
Vehicles are made to be driven. Cars left unused for long period of time may get its tire flat or battery drained. However, you may follow a few basic steps to make sure that your car starts up and runs great when you return for it:
- Change all the car fluids. These include gasoline, coolant, oil, hydraulic brake and clutch fluids, and windshield washer liquid. Fill the fuel tank and add a stabilizer compound. If you are unsure of how to do these, please refer to the owner’s manual or have your mechanic do the job for you.
- Clean the interior thoroughly. Remove any food particles and wipe down any vinyl or leather surfaces with a protective compound. This will prevent mold and mildew from forming and attracting critters in. Fill the tail pipe with steel wool and cover other openings such as vents to prevent mice from entering. Thoroughly clean windshields and windows inside out. Proper car cleaning materials are available at auto shops.
- Take your car to a car wash or personally clean the exterior before storage. After washing and drying it, thoroughly apply wax over the exterior, and even under the hood and inside door jambs to prevent metal corrosion, rusting and the paint from fading.
- Prepare the mechanics. Depressurise the fuel system to prevent leaks. Put the transmission into neutral to relieve pressure on gears. Connect the battery to a periodic charger to prevent it from draining overtime.
- Put the car up on jack stands. This relieves the strain on suspension components and prevents flat spots on tires. Use four-cornered jack stands made of plate steel.
- Cover your car. Use a high-quality cover made from breathable material to prevent condensation. It is also advised to place a drop cloth or a waterproof tarp underneath to prevent moisture from rising up.
Follow these guidelines and you’re all set to leave your ‘baby’ behind. Having a secured car storage for your vehicle will give you a worry-free trip and a good night’s sleep until it’s time to pick her up.